Death and the Cyprian Society

Pamela Christie. Kensington, $15 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-0-7582-8644-4
In Christie’s quirky third Arabella Beaumont mystery (after 2014’s Death Among the Ruins), the Regency courtesan sets out to create a club—the Cyprian Society—for the pleasure of her London colleagues. To complete the project, Arabella needs the £40,000 she’s owed by Constance Worthington, a rather stupid woman who now has a wealthy protector. Constance says she cannot repay the debt, because she’s being blackmailed for her relationship with Lady Ribbonhat’s footman. To get her money back, Arabella resolves to expose the blackmailer. The process uncovers more secrets and even leads to murder. The book’s tone of ironic detachment urges the reader not to take these mostly self-absorbed and venal characters too seriously. Thus, when Arabella becomes temporarily responsible for her extremely bright 11-year-old niece, Edwardina, the child expresses hope that when she grows up she can follow her aunt into prostitution. Agent: Michele Rubin, Writers House. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/24/2014
Release date: 12/01/2014
Genre: Fiction
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